June 4, 2014
I got a lot of flack about my last post from people who are jaded and tired of hearing about things that they interpret as being "what we've been doing forever". If that's the case, I'm sorry that you're getting annoyed, but you should know - this is about to blow up in ways that you can't possibly imagine.
Today, this morning, PuppetLabs is releasing the 2014 State of DevOps Report, and there is news. News that you might not want to hear, but will, and from unlikely sources.
Let me do something that I almost never do, and that's to quote the press release:
To produce the survey and report, Puppet Labs partnered with Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win; Jez Humble, co-author of Continuous Delivery and Lean Enterprise and Principal at ThoughtWorks; and Dr. Nicole Forsgren Velasquez, a professor at the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University and an expert on the impacts of IT, knowledge management and user experience.
“This year’s survey is the first rigorous study to confirm that DevOps practices and strong IT performance can drive real business value,” said Nigel Kersten, CIO of Puppet Labs. “Now we have the data to back up our contention that IT should be treated as a strategic asset to the business, not a cost center. Organizations that get this are going to pull ahead of competitors, getting their products to market faster and responding more quickly to customer feedback.”
I'm good friends with Dr Forsgren Velasquez, and I talked with her about this. The measurable performance differences between companies that implement DevOps practices and those that don't are significant enough that companies will take notice. They won't be able to afford not to.
For those of you with companies that are actively trying to compete in a competitive market, it may get uncomfortable. This news is going to be in business journals, it's going to be a selling point, and we are going to be expected to have answers when questions come.
Everyone who has been saying, "This is the same thing that we've always been doing", let me ask you - if you've always been doing it, does your company have a superior IT infrastructure over your competitors? Are you actively making your company better at what your company does? Because when these results hit the Wall Street Journal, these are questions that you are likely to be facing. Or, at least, the people who run your companies are likely to ask themselves the same thing.
Right now, I work at an educational institution. I don't have a dog in this fight (though there are clearly advantages to operating even a college infrastructure according to the principles of DevOps), but I just want you to know and be aware of this. It's not coming down the pike - it's right on top of us. Don't get run over by it.